"I will need your best warriors Margu, and Kendrel's aid as well..." We will needto guard the village perimeter thoroughtly.... As to the children we move them to a public place and keep them awake all night an inn or tavern would serve bestbut other then a few of your most watchful we do not want to increase guard arround the tavern, if anything we wish to focus somewhere, anywhere, where the children are not and hope that we can spring a trap for our assailants..."
"As you say humie" Margu said and he gave a command to several of his chamber guards and people began to move following the will of their chieftan without question.
A short while later Kendrel and I stood together in the Long Room, Margu was elsewhere ordering an evening feast be prepared.
"Far be it for me to question your plan Lord Thorne but it is flawed deeply and may lead to much misery...." Kendrel whispered his face unreadable for the moment but his tone suggesting deep concern.
"Is it?" I asked listening carefully to what Kendrel was saying but already aware of the flaws he would point out. The truth was that I had planned for the very possibility that Kendrel's fears were valid... The Children of Gulgin Dar would be far far away from the Tavern come evening. I had merely suggested that course to seem to be doing something different and logical while I formullated plans of my own...
"Your plan assumes two very possibly faulty assumptions about the abductors of the children of Gulgin Dar. One that the abductors do not have some means of sensing where their targets are and two that the abductors do not have some conspirator among the people...."
"Is that so?" I said eyeing Kendrel carefully. I had told Margu much the same thing after he had dismissed the guard about their buisness while the two of us were very much alone. It was critical that as few people as possible were aware of the true nature of my intention. I began to worry that I had not done enough research about the activity in Greenguard but little could be done. I prayed that I could prevent another child from being taken from Gulgin Dar... but I fully expected that I would need to call in additional aid to help defend the Children here.
"Yes it is" Kendrel said. "We cannot assume the people of the village are innocent"
"Nor can we presume that just because they are orcs they are guilty Elani" I snapped back with far more vehemence then I actually felt....
Kendrel looked deeply wounded by this statement and even more so by my next words...
"It has not escaped my attention that the Elani and the Ulgathi have often been at each others throats and that you are here quite conveniently when these events are happening... "
"I assure you that I am quite Loyal to the Ulgathi of Gulgin Dar...and especially to Margu himself. We have been friends since my childhood and you do me a grave disservice by suggesting I have ill intent it was I who suggested the Order of Lorithia be called in the first place, hardly something I would do if In fact I was guilty... "
I considered letting Kendrel off the hook and revealing to him my intention. If I read the man correctly he was feircely loyal to Margu and could be trusted but allowing too many people to know to soon was folly.... The magical force required to send the children of Gulgin Dar elsewhere during the wee hours of the night so that they would safe was astronomical. The plan required precise timing. If someone who was loyal to whatever beast was responsible for this gained the slightest intention that I planned not only to guard nonexistent children but that the children would be long gone from Gulgin Dar as well the enemy may move early... and if that happened I would be grossly over extended....
"I would not expect you to say anything different...." I said coldly and turned away from Kendrel "If you truely are loyal to Margu you will prove it... if you are not you will be found out...."
I focused on the smells of meat being spit fired in the distance to distract myself from my feelings of guilt over mistreating Kendrel. In the next hour our so the gathering of people in the village square arround the fire pit took the focus of the village entirely.... As the villagers allowed the celebration to distract them from their worries if only for a second things seemed recharged in Gulgin Dar. I was amazed to note that Kendrel even ate the Ulgathi food without concern... he was far from the dainty Elani of popular misconception....In fact I became somewhat concerned by the sheer volume of Ale that Kendrel was pouring down his throat. If the Elani got himself wasted he would be quite useless to me.
"Ug der humie" Kendrel said approaching me with a second ale in hand which was shoved roughly into my hand.
That kendrel was greeting me in Low Orcish pained me, because it was even more clear the truth of Kendrel's devotion to the Ulgathi. Whomever told you that an Orc and an Elf could not be close allies, friends, even family, was lying or else spreading their own predjudices through the generations. "Ug der" I responded and took the ale taking this as my opportunity...
"Lokee Me!" I cried out and turned toward the gathering orcs "Har...." I laughed caught in the festival spirit the gutteral orchish laugh coming oddly naturally considering my human anatomy....
I turned then, nodding to Kendrel, before raising my Mug toward the heavens "Gulak Dimargi".
A chorus of "Gulak Dimargi" was returned to me... but I became aware of another sound beyond the cheering crowd a sort of low keening wail....The sound was familiar somehow and I was chilled by it. Somehow I had been found out that was certain and I had an idea now of how.... No ammount of magic could guard against beings who could invade the thoughts of their victims....
"Wut Dat" Kendrel asked dumbly for a moment and then his face becoming more resolved. "Whats that Noise"
"What are the Fallen?" Kendrel asked with confusion, and not without basis. Lesser Light Demons had been seen in Battleonia before but to my knowledge the Fallen had not themselves been seen here.....
"They were once servants of the Lord of Light but they are now enemies of my order and of creation....Servants of The'galin the devourer. They look like the legends some offworlders tell of Angels. Extrememly beautiful winged creatures with lavender colored wings and beautiful countenances... they are quite dangerous beings... though in recent years I have heard of even Brilhado, their own term for their race, who have rejected the Uncreator's service."
"That may be so" Kendrel said pointedly "But it is safe to assume that the beings harassing Gulgin Dar are not benevolent..."
"We assumed that the Drakel had found what they were seeking in GreenGuard" I said with a frown looking at Kendrel
"What's this?" Kendrel asked "What are you on about"
"The Drakel were searching for an artifact among the Elani of Greenguard, surely YOU are aware of that" I proclaimed running my words together in my frustration. It was a fault of mine that when upset I tended to act far to quickly and lost the metered scholarly precision that was my normal stock in trade.
"I heard something of the like yes....."
"The people of Battleon and beyond came to the aid of the Elani in that battle against the Drakel...."
"I am aware of that as well"
"We may yet live to regret that decision...."
"Gulak Dimargi" came a keening wail suddenly from the direction of the Mages encampment where the Shaman were preparing to send away the children... I moved rapidly across the village to the encampment and looked inside and was chilled to the bone... Several children were arround sobbing and the smell of blood and decay flooded my nostrils I turned to the sight before me... entrails coated the door and walls of the sending chamber and a river of blood filled the chamber...
"What happened!" I yelled turning to the oldest of the Ulgathi children "What happened here"
"We were brought here by Lerdu and Mugi... " The kid said shaking "The said they were sending us somewhere safe but as they got ready to do it a strange sound filled the clearing like people crying and screaming and then a Kresh and several undead came into the clearing being lead by a dark haired flying man with purple wings. He said that he would find what he was looking for and the people of Gulak Dar would help him.. Then he...."
The child choked and stopped speaking, trying to hold on to his honor as an Ulgathi warrior but I could guess well enough what it was he had to say... They had killed Lerdu and Mugi quite bloodily for their part in working against their plans....
"Did they take any of the children?" I demanded of the child "Were any of you taken"
"Feldur and Nagu" The kid choked and then finally broke into sobs ashamed of himself...
"Saddle my Horse!" I commanded and turned to Kendrel
"You dont plan to folllow them?" He said "You stand no chance on horseback...."
I choked back a biting response.... Kendrel had been victim of enough of my animosity
"I cannot just sit here.... those men were killed aiding my plan and those Children were abducted under my guard"
I considered my options carefully.. Clearly I had enough information that The'galin's forces were involved in these attacks and that alone would be enough to call in the aid of Central command... The Question is what did I do next....I could have aid here by the next morning but then what....Should I merely wait? Follow the Brilhado even though Kendrel considered it foolish? Maybe I should try to track down the Drakel in Skraeling, they had been searching here before the uncreator, presumably for the same thing perhaps I could learn what they were searching for to begin with....
< Message edited by falerin -- 5/11/2005 21:39:27 >